And Love's Twitter mishaps are just the tip of the crazy iceberg that floated in to California's Second District Court of Appeals after Love's former attorney unsuccessfully sued her for the allegedly defamatory tweet.
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California bar membership fees were due yesterday, as most in-state lawyers are likely aware. Depending on which boxes you check, that money makes its way to philanthropic, historical, and public interest funds, and of course, to the State Bar's budget.
For the year ahead, though, the California State Bar Association will have a little less budget to work with. No, don't get too excited -- they aren't cutting your fees. But they are planning on trimming the fat by about $10 million.
If you purchased some bulk shrimp from Costco last summer, it's possible that your shrimp cocktail included seafood that was "derived from a supply chain that depends upon documented slavery, human trafficking, and other labor abuses" -- at least according to a lawsuit against the company.
A California woman sued the retailer last August, alleging that the company's Thailand-sourced shrimp were produced with slave labor, despite its supplier code of conduct which prohibits human rights abuses. That's false advertising, Monica Sud argued in her putative class action.
But it turns out, Sud had never purchased Thai shrimp from Costco, slavery-sourced or otherwise. Her suit was dismissed last Friday for lack of standing.
On October 23rd, the Southern California Gas Company's natural gas storage well sprung a leak in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Porter Ranch. For over two months, it has spewed gas, releasing over 80,000 metric tons of methane. No one seems able to stop it, either.
While the leak pumps out thousands of tons of toxic greenhouse gases, the lawsuits are already piling up: 25 so far and climbing.
The California State Bar Board of Trustees announced in December that it would be appointing Jayne Kim to a second four-year term as chief trial counsel, the state bar's top prosecutor position. The chief trial counsel is responsible for investigating and prosecuting attorneys for professional misconduct, overseeing more than 200 employees and a $40 million budget.
But Kim is a contentious choice for reappointment, after employees in the Office of Chief Trial Counsel overwhelmingly voted "no confidence" in her leadership in October. Here's some background on Kim and the controversy behind her.
The California state legislature may put fort nonbinding, advisory ballot measures, the state's Supreme Court ruled this morning. In a six to one ruling, the court found that the legislature has the power to poll the public through the ballot box, with questions that would not have any legal impact.
The ruling comes from Proposition 49, a measure proposed by the state legislature for the 2014 ballot but withdrawn after a conservative group sued, arguing that advisory measures were simply attempts to influence voter turnout. The ballot measure would have asked voters whether Congress should pursue a constitutional amendment to overrule the controversial Citizens United decision, though the actual vote would have no effect on state law, Congress, or the federal Constitution.
Happy Election Day, California! Sure, there are no federal or state-wide elections, but today at least a few California voters will go to the ballot to decide 61 local measures, from drastically limiting Airbnb in San Francisco to funding Las Virgenes Unified School District in Los Angeles and Ventura. Speaking of schools, 102 school board seats across 38 districts are up for a vote today.
But forget what's on the ballot. What's most interesting about this election is the changes to state voting laws that will soon come after it and whether those changes will get anyone to the ballot.
With the stroke of a pen yesterday, California became the fifth and largest state to allow physician-assisted suicide when Gov. Jerry Brown signed the End of Life Option Act. The Act allows doctors to prescribe lethal doses of medicine to mentally competent adults suffering from a terminal illness.
The bill had divided medical, ethical, and religious groups. Advocates argued that physician-assisted suicide allows death with dignity for terminally ill patients who could otherwise suffer excruciating ends. Others objected to doctors taking patient lives under any circumstances.
It's been six years since a federal three-judge court ordered California to drastically reduce its prison population and four years since the Supreme Court affirmed that ruling. At the time, the order brought cries that there would be "blood in the streets" if state prison populations were reduced.
Of course, California didn't just open the prison gates and let inmates walk free. Instead, it instituted a realignment program, moving prisoners from state to local jails, and adopted changes to "tough on crime" laws. Since then, a new report shows, crime has continued to drop, while 18,000 inmates have been removed from California prisons.
When it comes to protecting animal rights, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals doesn't monkey around. Their message is simple: "Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment." Oh, and they should have access to intellectual property rights, too. Yep, according to a PETA lawsuit in San Francisco, animals should have the ability to copyright works they create.
In particular, PETA is looking to have a macaque monkey who took a world-famous selfie declared copyright owner of the photos. You remember the photos -- the ones taken when an Indonesian monkey named Naruto grabbed nature photographer David Slater's unattended camera, smiled, and began posing for the camera. Slater threatened to sue Wikipedia when they published the photo and now PETA is suing Slater, arguing that Naruto should be declared the photo's author -- and that PETA should administer the profits from the photo on the monkey's behalf.